‘Turn’ and ‘Whisky & Gin’

Illustration by Lucy Zammit



Peering down into the glass table
In the depths of the reflection,
The umbrella above me stirred.
The sun was much too bright, just as I like it.
When we sat on the grass at the foot of the library, I beamed at you,
Utterly content,
And your eyes
As I did.
The sun was much too bright and later
You would find patches of red
Across your forehead and neck.
You told me about what you’d done in Afghanistan.
Not concerned
For yourself,
But for me.
And it was as though I had known already,
I trembled all the same,
It shook me—
But I clung to your lips.
I told you about my stint in hospital
Not concerned
For myself,
But for you.
I do not know if you shook as I did.
We nuzzled into one another, seeking
What we could,
Inhaling and exhaling
But the sun didn’t mind the rampant surging of our minds
As we began to fall into one another.
The heavy grating tide of the trams
Bore through us,
Carried us through the streets.
The hum of the world sounded
Like a gong
When I closed my eyes, the ground was gone
And in its place,
The sea.
You and I were drifting,
As though just below the surface,
The language of the city was suddenly
I am the froth of a wave,
You are the sand between toes,
The night blusters,
The spray clings
To us.


Whisky & Gin

We wandered
Past the tortoise and smiled
At his age,
At ours.
Later, with the butterflies
“You disarm me.”
In the Japanese garden,
We travelled
Giddy as we were.
We held each other close in 1964
And rotated in a party.
The following hours
Shrieked, collapsed and beat
In our lungs,
Our cage,
Our city,
Our fever,
For jazz.
In the evening
Our mouths are alcoholic
And you talk about our ‘Adult future’.
What’s in three months?
What’s in a lifetime?
We are both young and old
The spectrum of age
Waxes and wanes
And the moon is high.


Shona Louis

The author Shona Louis

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